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5 Emotional Intelligence Books for Your Summer Reading List

EDA CEO Ed DeAngelis believes being a business leader requires continuous learning and daily growth. To enhance your leadership skills, DeAngelis recommends adding these five emotional intelligence books to your summer reading list.

One of the most important opportunities a business leader has is the ability to grow as a leader – every day. This growth, however, does not happen in a silo. To grow, one has to be willing to learn and if necessary, to unlearn. Leading a business, inspiring people, and nurturing an enduring professional environment of respect and performance does not happen without a lot of dedication. And, sometimes, dedication takes learning.

Whether you are an executive, a people manager, or an individual contributor looking to grow in your career, there is always room for learning.

Great business leaders are lifelong learners.

In my ongoing challenge to grow as a business leader, and a person, I look to experts in many fields – psychology, economics, finance, human resources, sociology and more. I am always looking for ways to grow as a human being and business leader, knowing that good leadership starts with self-awareness and the willingness to be emotionally reflective.

With summer approaching, you should consider creating an intentional “summer reading list” to broaden your horizon as a leader.

Here are five of the most impactful books on emotional intelligence I have read in my pursuit to be the best, most emotionally available leader I can be for my company, and my community. I encourage you to explore and determine which speaks to you.

1. Emotional Intelligence 2.0

61-xsrzjQsL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves looks at today’s fast-paced world of competitive workplaces and turbulent economic conditions, and the need for each of us to search for effective tools that can help us to manage, adapt, and strike out ahead of our competition. 

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential, including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. What can each of us do to be a more emotionally available leader? How can we conduct ourselves with a self-awareness that makes us better leaders? Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is designed to help us manage the emotions of our workplaces with creativity and compassion, focusing on ways to employ emotional intelligence to achieve success in business and life. This book is about leadership, business motivation, self-improvement and the practicality of social and emotional intelligence.

2. Thinking Fast and Slow

61fdrEuPJwL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is an intuitive and emotional read. Kahneman, a world-famous psychologist and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, takes you on a tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The book cautions on the impact of overconfidence on corporate strategies, and the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future. It is a book that makes you stop and think. This book was a great experience in exploring the rationality and irrationality of being a human being. You’ll think differently as a business leader after reading it, and that’s a good thing. 

3. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

51km6RPOvYL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_Daniel H. Pink is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seven books. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us challenges us to think differently about what motivates us. Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money and profits. Pink asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction, whether it be at the office or outside the office, is the human need to direct and lead our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

4. Primal Leadership

81jVqiLlb1L._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, asks managers and business leadership to affirm the importance of emotionally intelligent leadership. What does emotionally intelligent leadership look like – and why is it worth instilling in yourself and your top managers? Primal Leadership illustrates the power and necessity of leadership that has feelings, is empathetic, and collaborative. The read will make you aspire to be a more emotionally intelligent person – leading your organization with empathy, honesty, and reflection.

5. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know

71I6Liq80VL._AC_UF1000,1000_QL80_Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by Adam Grant packs a big emotional punch. Written with business leaders in mind, Think Again asks you to take a hard look at your organizational culture – and be honest about whether your culture is more than just conceptual. The book is a call to rethink what you know about your organization’s culture, and what cognitive skills matter the most when it comes to rethinking and unlearning what you think you know. This book will make you rethink everything.